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And When She Was Good: Book summary and reviews of And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

And When She Was Good

A Novel

by Laura Lippman

And When She Was Good
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2012
    384 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

A brilliant new stand alone novel from New York Times Bestselling author Laura Lippman. A suburban madam, a convicted murderer whose sentence is about to be overturned, and the child who they will both do anything to keep.

Based on her acclaimed, multi-award-nominated short story "Scratch a Woman," And When She Was Good is the powerfully gripping, intensely emotional story of a suburban madam, a convicted murderer whose sentence is about to be overturned, and the child they will both do anything to keep. Lippman has already won virtually every prize the mystery genre has to offer - the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, and Nero Wolfe Awards, to name but a few. They'll now have to invent a few new awards just to keep up with her.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Shifting smoothly from Heloise's past to her present, Lippman delivers an intense character study about a strong, complex woman whose love for her son compels her to make some desperate choices." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A full-powered national publicity campaign, including an author tour and major online appearances, will whip up big enthusiasm for the much-admired Lippman's latest superb novel." - Booklist

"Like Mary Cassatt, Lippman studies families with a different eye than her male contemporaries, showing the heartbreaking complexity of life with those you love." - Kirkus Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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Darcy C. (San Diego, CA)

Got To Look Out For Yourself
This was a really good read! I was able to get wrapped up in the protagonist: Heloise. She was believable and a real fighter. This book is no "Pretty Woman" -- similar only in the fact that she's a prostitute. She realizes at a young age that she shouldn’t rely on others for help because they usually disappoint. (This part I could relate to!) Now she has a young son who she must also look after. She gets into real-life situations, where some of the people she encounters are truly awful. We have all been around people like that. I could understand her and found myself "pulling for her" to get out of some of her more precarious situations. I admired her business acumen and wonder if I could have been as ingenious as she was. She knows what people think of her and she’s got more common sense than any of the others who judge her. She’s a fighter - and even better - she has moxie! I like Heloise an awful lot and I think other readers will too. If Hollywood didn't ruin most of the good stories out there - I would love to see this turned into a movie. I will settle for this book, and hope(!) that I will get the chance to read more about Heloise and how the rest of her life turns out.

Julia E. (Atlanta, GA)

Laura Lippman: And When She Was Good
Award-winning mystery novelist, Laura Lippman, has delivered another winner. Deftly, Lippman lures the reader into the morally murky world of a suburban Madam known variously as Helen-Heloise-Hel. Just like any suburban Mom, Helen is out to protect and provide for her son, only here the dangers are far more deadly than over-baking cookies for the PTA meeting--Helen is possibly being stalked by a revengeful killer. The reader is ever on the side of this resourceful, ambitious woman who, having been dealt a lousy hand in the game of life, plays her cards with skill and courage: one concurs that when Helen was good, she was very, very good,but when she was bad she understandably could be horrid. And therein lies the fascination of this masterfully written mystery novel.

Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)

Great Read!
Laura Lippman has given me so many pleasurable reading experiences, and this one was certainly as enjoyable. Although the main character, Heloise, at first glance appears weak and easily manipulated, she transcends all the negatives that have shaped her life and emerges intact. I love Ms. Lippman's characters....the good, the bad and the horrible. There would be many discussion points for a book club and I would definitely recommend this book to mine.

Aleksandra E. (Alpharetta, GA)

An absolutely riveting read!
I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of this book. It grips you from the very beginning & is a bonafide page-turner that I could not manage to put down. A thrilling and compelling read that'll hook you until the final pages. A definitely must read for anyone who enjoys a well done thriller.

Cathy W. (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)

Great Summer Read
Laura Lippman’s intricately plotted crime stories delve into the psychological motivations of the characters. My favorite is What the Dead Know, but And When She Was Good is right up there with a menacing storyline that presents such flawed characters that you sometimes want to shake them to make them understand how foolishly they are behaving. This is another page-turner that will keep you up way past your bedtime.

Wendy H.

And When She Was Good
A thought-provoking stand alone from Laura Lippman. Helen/Heloise is a Starbucks swilling, Maryland suburban “Madam” who wants nothing more than for her young son to wake up every day knowing he is loved and safe, something she never had. The storyline jumps back and forth in time which builds the suspense of the novel, and Lippman does a good job of keeping the transitions smooth. The character of Helen/Heloise is very well drawn and quite complex.

This is a perfect book mystery club selection, especially with the very polarizing topics of should we decriminalize prostitution and is prostitution a victimless crime?

...28 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Laura Lippman Author Biography

Jim Burger

Laura Lippman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun.

She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about "accidental PI" Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. The Most Dangerous Thing (2011), And When She Was Good (2012), After I'm Gone (2014) are some of her more recent works.

Her work has been awarded the Edgar, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year ...

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